Post navigation

Prev: (11/20/14) | Next: (11/20/14)

Capitol Hill food+drink | Rachel’s Ginger Beer comes home to 12th Ave Arts

This is what happens when you let Capitol Hill people into Pike Place Market (Image: RGB)

This is what happens when you let Capitol Hill people into Pike Place Market (Image: RGB)

Marshall, double fisting (Image: RGB)

Marshall, double fisting (Image: RGB)

Going to dinner and the theater at Capitol Hill’s 12th Ave Arts might not be the fancy-pants event some might expect. Capitol Hill farmers market born and bred Rachel’s Ginger Beer is finally opening a shop in its home neighborhood with a ginger beer and fry bar inside the new affordable housing + East Precinct parking + theater space + nonprofit office space + three food and drink space development.

“That was so a part of the drinking culture,” the Rachel in RGB told CHS while apologizing for being “boring” with a story about traipsing through Europe. “You get a beer and a bowl of fries.”

Hey, anytime there is traipsing involved, we’re interested. Especially when you’re talking les pommes frites.

Oh là là. Rachel Marshall’s latest Capitol Hill joint is slated to open this spring with all the goodness of Rachel’s Ginger Beer plus “a menu of crispy, hand-cut fries and 15 to 20 dipping sauces, including a fancy ranch.” The bar will serve ginger beer-based and carbonated cocktails. The bubbles will tickle. There will be ice cream for floats and, if you’re an animal, dipping fries. And you’ll be able to fill your growler or grab RGB to go.

“What I picture is kind of a place where you can go during the day and really feel comfortable opening your laptop but can also have a drink,” Marshall said. “And we can go into the night.”

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

For those predicting a few Montana Mules + fries + a night at the theater dates, 12th Ave Arts will be home to three companies that will share the two performance spaces. About one third of the schedule will be open for other companies and groups to rent out the stages. With Rachel’s Ginger Beer holding down the main southern section of the ground-floor commercial space in the building, two more food and drink ventures will join 12th Ave Arts in its more casual take on theater dining. U:Don Fresh Noodle Station with its “hand-made, fresh Sanuki-style udon noodle bowls” is also set to be resident in the project while Pel Meni Seattle Dumpling Tzar will also give theatergoers affordable option.

From the days of selling RGB at a table at the Broadway Farmers Market to its July 2013 opening of its flagship shop in Pike Place Market, Marshall is now partner in two of the more neighborhood-friendly Capitol Hill bars and this coming third that seems likely to fit in equally well. Montana opened on E Olive Way in late 2011 and made picklebacks a thing, while Nacho Borracho brought margaritas and queso to Broadway in early 2014. Her places, she has said, cater to customers within a few blocks, not the (520) bridge and (I-90) bridge crowd.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 4.45.02 PM

A berth inside the brand new 12th Ave Arts will be a different environment for Marshall. Rachel’s Ginger Beer Capitol Hill will be the first venue her partnership has built out from the bolts up. It’s a massively bigger financial risk. But it will also mean Marshall’s hopes for “really clean simple, modern lines with lots of vegetation” can be more fully achieved. Jeremy Reding, the architect who created the Pike Place Market RGB, is on hand again to design the new space.

Marshall said the decision for her and business partner Adam Peters to join the Capitol Hill Housing development was part of a calculated next step in the continued growth of the company.

“It’s absolutely a part of our longterm plan,” she said. “We invested a lot in infrastructure
and a lot of resources to ramp up RGB production.”

In 2012, CHS reported on the decision to move RGB’s production off Capitol Hill to help the company ramp up to meet greater demand — and, of course, also make room for Montana to expand.

Marshall, now with a family of her own, also finds herself with an amazingly extend set of responsibilities.

“There are a lot of people who depend on this,” Marshall said of the some 70 employees that work across her various ventures these days. “I feel like becoming a mother makes me really sensitive to that.”

Rachel’s Ginger Beer Capitol Hill will open in spring 2015 in the 12th Ave Arts building at 1620 12th Ave. You can learn more at

Capitol Hill food+drink notes

First look inside the transformed La Bete -- Spaghetti Western's BBQ and noodles, here

First look inside the transformed La Bete — Spaghetti Western’s BBQ and noodles, here

  • Coming sooner: Zhu Dang, Nue, Serious Pie Capitol Hill, Herb and Bitter, Mouse and Marver
  • OK. One of those is a lie.
  • Already came: Spaghetti Western.
  • Oh, also coming: Construction has begun on E Pine for the new Kukai.
  • Gone… for now: The Lobby Bar says goodbye to its E Pike birthplace Saturday night. It’s on the hunt for a new space. No word on what comes next on E Pike.
  • Unfriendly welcome. Single Shot suffered a $4,200 break-in :(
  • We heard back from the restaurant veterans behind coming-in-2015, Broadway Tex-Mex joint Rooster’s. They liked the article. That’s nice!
  • Do you have your tickets for Sun Liquor’s first annual Nog Ball?
  • We think Seattle Times has it kinda backward — the neighborhoods make the restaurants, not the other way around — but there’s a lot of good Capitol Hill in there including the story behind the DeLuxe family’s decision to open a restaurant in “North Ballard” and, of course, Linda DerschangHer true niche, she realizes, “is for places that become neighborhood institutions.” 
  • That’s not a niche!
  • Equally interesting and frustrating and Hill-full: The Restaurants That Changed Seattle
  • Sounders are pushing for the finals. Seahawks? Scuffling. Still, promos are all about football as Bait Shop says it will start showing games, serving blue/green drinks and Rhein Haus is holding a tailgate to benefit the GSBA Scholarship Fund.
  • One year in with Juicebox.
  • Revolvernow with booths:10410343_725265360891635_2996498863900960317_n


This week’s CHS food+drink advertiser directory
Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

11 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Rachel’s Ginger Beer comes home to 12th Ave Arts

  1. Maybe a bit too snarky on that first caption? Although, apparently not untrue (judging from the photos)…Portlandia incarnated, with sparkling hipsters. It’s just too precious.

    God, my head is spinning due to the abrupt 180 from Zachary Pullin’s article two below, the juxtaposition is disorientating. I wonder if any two postings could go in a more opposite direction?

    • Well, Capitol Hill Housing could have gone with bigger names that don’t live on Capitol Hill and sell concepted “entree” type dining so I dunno if I’d agree with you

      • Well, I guess there is room to be more “opposite”, but, you have to admit, the photos accompanying this post masterfully depict the demonized version of gentrification. Heck, I’m version 2.3 of the white guy with the canvas bag, so it’s not that I don’t like those sorts of places…it’s just the Monocle piece contrasts strikingly with the cautionary tale seen two previous.

      • What? I AM one of those people. You are absolutely missing my point. I was merely pointing out an interesting contrast between two closely spaced posts. I am self aware enough to know when this skinny jean and beanie wearing Hill denizen is drinking an artisanal cocktail, I could be seen as the embodiment of gentrification to some, and I understand those anxieties.

  2. Has Sun Liquor given any clue as to if/when they’ll be selling liters of nog outside of the Nog Ball tickets as they did last year?

  3. Pingback: There’s a better use for this: The marquee lights up at 12th Ave Arts | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  4. I do love me some Rachel’s Ginger Beer, and I’m a sucker for a fancy dipping sauce. However, it amuses me that they are moving into an affordable housing development.

  5. Pingback: 29 Capitol Hill bars and restaurants to look forward to in 2015 — UPDATE | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  6. Pingback: Gnocchi Bar finds a Capitol Hill food+drink home, gently used | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  7. Pingback: A(nother) Capitol Hill restaurant closure with (probably) nothing to do with the minimum wage | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle